- Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California - I first found Cornerstone after reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan who was then the lead pastor at the church. Francis and his family have since moved and now minister in San Fransisco. I started listening to Cornerstone podcasts shortly after the lead pastor position went to Todd Nighswonger. The sermon series are taught by different pastors at the church and each pastor has unique strengths. The teaching is from the Bible and draws from relevant historical and cultural sources too. Cornerstone also takes time to address misunderstandings or teachings that need further explanation within their own church body. The sermon series invite response. I know the pastors are teaching to a group of people in California, but the messages are applicable in Kuwait too.
- Fresh Air with Terry Gross - The iTunes podcast switch its formatting so that you can now choose which segments of the show you want to hear. I love this change because of a forty-five minute show, I might be most interested in a twenty minute interview. And I enjoy Fresh Air because of the absolute variety of people and subjects covered.
- Stuff You Missed in History Class with Deblina and Sarah - History is fun! And these two women from the How Stuff Works site discuss a range of historical periods, places and people. Deblina and Sarah run with listener suggestions and include listener mail in their podcast. The podcasts are usually twenty or thirty minutes long but if a topic requires more time, they carry it into a two-parter or a short series. I love this podcast.
- PBS Frontline - Really, just full coverage on current issues or ideas. I think that Frontline is very fair and purposeful in their reporting. The stories they cover are substantial and important, sometimes under reported or misreported elsewhere. If you go to their site and scroll down, the left side lists recent episodes; like Fresh Air, Frontline offers great variety. And you learn a lot. One of my favorite episodes is Digital Nation which should spark a conversation about our everyday use of technology.
- Radiolab with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich - First, great names, right? I started listening to Radiolab four years ago. I can't remember how I found them, but it might have been through This American Life. TAL and Radiolab both choose themes for their shows but Radiolab's themes are often rooted in science or the mind. And while TAL is an excellent standard for radio storytelling, Radiolab takes sound risks like repeating or layering voices that sometimes work just perfectly. Other times, the wild sounds make Radiolab feel busy. (Which might, thematically, be the point). I think Jad and Robert have grown as hosts and know that their conversations and questions are important for the listener to hear - Jad and Robert do not agree on all issues so make a round discussion. A fun podcast, but often a thinking podcast too.
Just to note, I've linked the shows websites here, but each are available for download on iTunes. I find it easier to subscribe to them there than visit individual sites.